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Smoking, as well as the use of other forms of tobacco, is detrimental to health. Smokers are at higher risk for many health problems. Quitting smoking is a critical step in reducing risks of many serious health problems.
Even exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease.1, 2 In children, exposure to smoke is linked to asthma, childhood cancers, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), recurrent ear infections, exacerbation of cystic fibrosis, and possibly attention deficit disorder/hyperactivity.3,4,5
Warning to pregnant women: Smoking is extremely detrimental to the health of an unborn child. Exposure to smoke (including secondhand smoke) leads to decreased birth weights.6 Smoking also increases the risk of preterm deliveries, fetal mortality, childhood cancers, childhood allergies, infantile febrile seizures, urinary tract birth defects, and lower IQ.7 Smoking is also associated with decreased lactation in breastfeeding women.8
(The following list is comprehensive, although not necessarily exhaustive. Contact your health care professional for more information.)
Smoking is the underlying cause of the majority of cases of emphysema and chronic bronchitis.27 Anyone who smokes should stop. Although quitting smoking will not reverse the symptoms of COLD, it can help preserve the remaining lung function. Exposure to other respiratory irritants (such as air pollution, dust, toxic gases, or fumes) can aggravate COLD and should be avoided when possible.
Diabetics who smoke are at higher risk for kidney damage,31 heart disease,32 and other diabetes-related problems. Smokers are more likely to become diabetic.33 In a study of 181 diabetics, cigarette smoking was found to be a risk factor for the development of retinopathy.34
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2. Bailar JC Passive smoking, coronary heart disease, and meta-analysis. N Engl J Med 1999;340:958–9.
3. Dybing E, Sanner T. Passive smoking, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and childhood infections. Hum Exp Toxicol 1999;18:202–5.
4. Sasco AJ, Vainio H. From in utero and childhood exposure to parental smoking to childhood cancer: a possible link and the need for action. Hum Exp Toxicol 1999;18:192–201.
5. Cook DG, Strachan DP. Health effects of passive smoking-10: Summary of effects of parental smoking on the respiratory health of children and implications for research. Thorax 1999;54:357–66.
6. Groff JY, Mullen PD, Mongoven M, Burau K. Prenatal weight gain patterns and infant birthweight associated with maternal smoking. Birth 1997;24:234–39.
7. Brown DC. Smoking cessation in pregnancy. Can Fam Physician 1996;42:102–5[review].
8. Hill PD, Aldag JC. Smoking and breastfeeding status. Res Nurs Health 1996;19:125–32.
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10. Glantz SA, Parmley WW. Passive smoking and heart disease. JAMA 1995;273:1047–53 [review].
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12. Strachan DP, Cook DG. Health effects of passive smoking. 6. Parental smoking and childhood asthma: longitudinal and case-control studies. Thorax 1998;53:204–12.
13. Winkelstein ML, Tarzian A, Wood RA. Parental smoking behavior and passive smoke exposure in children with asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 1997;78:419–23.
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18. Sasco AJ, Vainio H. From in utero and childhood exposure to parental smoking to childhood cancer: a possible link and the need for action. Hum Exp Toxicol 1999;18:192–201.
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27. Thurlbeck WM. The pathobiology and epidemiology of human emphysema. J Toxicol Environ Health 1984;13:323–43.
28. Marcy TW, Merrill WW. Cigarette smoking and respiratory tract infection. Clin Chest Med 1987;8:381–91.
29. Cottone M, Rosselli M, Orlando A, et al. Smoking habits and recurrence in Crohn’s disease. Gastroenterol 1994;106:643–8.
30. Rubin BK. Exposure of children with cystic fibrosis to environmental tobacco smoke. N Engl J Med 1990;323:782–8.
31. Stegmayr B, Lithner F. Tobacco and end stage diabetic nephropathy. BMJ1987;295:581–2.
32. Scala C, LaPorte RE, Dorman JS, et al. Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus mortality—the risk of cigarette smoking. Circulation 1990;82:37–43.
33. Rimm EB, Manson JE, Stampfer MJ, et al. Cigarette smoking and the risk of diabetes in women. Am J Public Health 1993;83:211–4.
34. Paetkau ME, Boyd TAS, Winship B, Grace M. Cigarette smoking and diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes 1977;26:46–9.
35. Ethel RA, Pattishall EN, Haley NJ, et al. Passive smoking and middle ear effusion among children in day care. Pediatr 1992;90:228–32.
36. Coste J, Job-Spira N, Fernandez H. Increased risk of ectopic pregnancy with maternal cigarette smoking. Am J
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37. Thurlbeck WM. The pathobiology and epidemiology of human emphysema. J Toxicol Environ Health 1984;13:323–43.
38. Huie MJ. The effects of smoking on exercise performance. Sports Med 1996;22:355–9.
39. Robbins SL, Cotran RS, Kumar V. Pathologic Basis of Disease 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Co, 1984, 809–14.
40. Yoshiuchi K, Kumano H, Nomura S, et al. Stressful life events and smoking were associated with Graves' disease in women, but not in men. Psychosom Med 1998;60:182–5.
41. Narkiewicz K, Maraglino G, Biasion T, et al. Interactive effect of cigarettes and coffee on daytime systolic blood pressure in patients with mild essential hypertension. J Hypertens 1995;13:965–70.
42. Johnson JD, Houchens DP, Kluwe WM, et al. Effects of mainstream and environmental tobacco smoke on the immune system in animals and humans: a review. Crit Rev Toxicol 1990;20:369–5.
43. Condra M, Morales A, Owen JA, et al. Prevalence and significance of tobacco smoking in impotence. Urology 1986;27:495–8.
44. Bump RC, McClish DK. Cigarette smoking and urinary incontinence in women. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1992;167:1213–8.
45. Koskimaki J, Hakama M, Huhtala H, Tammela TL. Association of smoking with lower urinary tract symptoms. J Urol 1998;159:1580–2.
46. Howe G, Westhoff C, Vessey M, Yeates D. Effects of age, cigarette smoking, and other factors on fertility: findings in a large prospective study. BMJ 1985;290:1697–9.
47. Weinberg CR, Wilcox AJ, Baird DD. Reduced fecundability in women with prenatal exposure to cigarette smoking. Am J Epidemiol 1989;129:1072–8.
48. Phillips BA, Danner FJ. Cigarette smoking and sleep disturbance. Arch Intern Med 1995;155:734–7.
49. Murabito JM, D'Agostino RB, Silbershatz H, et al. Intermittent claudication. A risk profile from The Framingham Heart Study. Circulation 1997;96:44–9.
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51. Chan D. Cigarette smoking and age-related macular degeneration. Optom Vis Sci 1998;75:476–84.
52. Staropoli CA, Flaws JA, Bush TL, Mouton AW. Predictors of menopausal hot flashes. J Womens Health 1998;7:1149–55.
53. Avis NE, Crawford SL, McKinlay SM. Psychosocial, behavioral, and health factors related to menopause symptomatology. Womens Health 1997;3:103–20.
54. Schwingl PJ, Hulka BS, Harlow SD. Risk factors for menopausal hot flashes. Obstet Gynecol 1994;84:29–34.
55. Charlton A, While D. Smoking and menstrual problems in 16-year-olds. J R Soc Med 1996;89:193–5.
56. Turner C, Spilich GJ. Research into smoking or nicotine and human cognitive performance: does the source of funding make a difference? Addiction 1997;92:1423–6.
57. Spilich GJ, Hune L, Renner J. Cigarette smoking and cognitive performance. Br J Addict 1992;87:1313–26.
58. Leboeuf-Yde C, Yashin A. Smoking and low back pain: is the association real? J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1995;18:457–63 [review].
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60. An HS, Silveri CP, Simpson JM, et al. Comparison of smoking habits between patients with surgically confirmed herniated lumbar and cervical disc disease and controls. J Spinal Disord 1994;7:369–73.
61. Battie MC, Videman T, Gill K, et al. 1991 Volvo Award in clinical sciences. Smoking and lumbar intervertebral disc degeneration: an MRI study of identical twins. Spine 1991;16:1015–21.
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63. Hopper JL, Seeman E. The bone density of female twins discordant for tobacco use. N Engl J Med 1994;330:387–92.
64. Korman MG, Hansky J, Eaves ER, Schmidt GT. Influence of cigarette smoking on healing and relapse in duodenal ulcer disease. Gastroenterology 1983;85:871–4.
65. Hempton TJ, Leone C. The effects of smoking on periodontal disease and periodontal therapies. J Mass Dent Soc 1997;46:33–5.
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67. Hoffman GS. Raynaud's disease and phenomenon. Am Fam Physician 1980;21:91–7.
68. Mountifield JA. Restless leg syndrome relieved by cessation of cigarette smoking. Can Med Assoc J 1985;133:426.
69. Grady D, Ernster V. Does cigarette smoking make you ugly and old? Am J Epidemiol 1992;135:839–42.
70. Kadunce DP, Burr R, Gress R, et al. Cigarette smoking: risk factor for premature facial wrinkling. Ann Intern Med 1991;114:840–4.
71. Shinton R. Lifelong exposures and the potential for stroke prevention: the contribution of cigarette smoking, exercise, and body fat. J Epidemiol Community Health 1997;51:138–43.
72. Anderson HR, Cook DG. Passive smoking and sudden infant death syndrome: review of the epidemiological evidence. Thorax 1997;52:1003–9.